Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thankful Thursday

730. I'm thankful for cooler temperatures finally starting to make their arrival in the South. This means we can go outside to school!

731. I'm thankful for the fact that Hurricane Matthew stayed off land. It could have been so much worse than it was.

732. I'm thankful for my amazing computer awesome Dad who came and saved the day this past weekend when my computer TRIED to give me the BSOD.

733. I'm thankful for amazing opportunities in our small town, like seeing the traveling Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall.

734. I'm thankful that even though I've taken time from my blog, it's always here for me to come back to.

735. I'm thankful for caramel apple tea, pumpkin spice coffee, and all things fallish.

736. I'm thankful for God's amazing adventures this year. This has TRULY been a year that God has pushed me right smack out of my comfortable zone I was in.

737. I'm thankful that even when times are not great, that God always is.

738. I'm thankful that we have made some amazing connections and friends where we are.

739. I'm thankful that no matter how big my dream might seem to me, that it's nothing compared to God's big dreams. He is not scared by my dream or goals. He's got even bigger ideas in store!

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Homeschool Weekly(actually monthly) Update...

Hey y'all!! It's been a couple months since I had time to sit down and write up a homeschool wrap-up. It has been a crazy busy couple of months and it's just gearing up to be even more wacky and wild. However, I'm trying to make a conscious effort to blog it more and take more pictures. I want to live IN the moment but also document the moment at the same time.

So, here's a look at our 5th grade year in action, so far:

We have gone to the local science museum in August for their homeschool day. We actually ended up getting the yearly pass this time so that we can visit more this year. I want to start doing more field trips. I say that every year and every year we fall into the rut. The rut that we just try to drudge through, you know what I mean?

 We have also had an amazing opportunity to view the traveling Vietnam Veteran's Memorial wall. We were able to see the parade as it was escorted through our town, meet some helicopter pilots that flew in the war and see the wall itself.

It was quite an amazing experience that I don't know that we would have had if not for this wonderful traveling exhibit. I highly recommend you visit it if you're close to the actual one or if this one comes to your city.

We have been doing a science/math tutoring/co-op with my parents as well this year. They have moved to the area so we are able to harness their knowledge and awesomeness. You know what I mean.. It has been fun to go for once a week sessions where the kids can learn from someone other than us Mama's. It makes a difference!

In case you didn't know, we like science around here! So we are again loving our Apologia Science series this year with all the fun hands-on experiments to try out.

We are using Singapore math again this year. I feel it's easier to have the workbook on hand so that is one reason we went that route. Plus it's an awesome program!

We have been doing a book club with Mimi and the kids are all reading The Magician's Nephew. They have all been enjoying it and it's a great lesson for Boo Bear. He's learning that sometimes we read what we want and other times we do have to read items that may not be what we've personally picked out. However, they can still be fun and neat if we give them a chance!!

Our drama and science classes have kicked into full gear again as well. He loves those classes and I'm not sure what we'll do when he outgrows the science program here. Papa will have to kick his weekly co-op up a notch! ;-)

We have been working along in all our books and moving at a pretty good pace. We've hit some rough patches but that's the awesome thing about homeschooling. If we hit a snag, we don't have to just "hope" he gets it later on. We can take time working on it until he gets it to move on.

We are now gearing up for fun fall activities that we want to do, park days since the weather is finally not 1,000 degrees outside, and of course those fun carnivals and festivals that are coming up. We are currently in Halloween costume making mode and getting ready for our church's involvement in our local city's Trail of Treaters. One day I'll have to share my heart on why this event is so big to me, but that is a whole other post.

So, how is your homeschool year going along? Are you have a good one so far? Have a wonderful week this week and we'll be back soon! (I promise)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Ugly Sweater Run Announcement

Dunnellon is a beautiful  area of central Florida. It's home to the amazingly breathtaking Rainbow Springs, a small community feel, and amazing people that love their community and the individuals in it. While fall/winter temperatures don't always arrive till later than usual for the rest of the country, Christmas around here is no different! There's festivals, Christmas parades, Christmas tree lighting events AND...

The Ugly Sweater Run!!!

The Friends of Dunnellon is proud to present the third annual Ugly Sweater 5K and 1-Mile Walk on December 3, 2016. The run/walk will be held at the beautiful Dunnellon Trailhead along the Rainbow River.
Photo Credit

It will begin at 8:00 a.m. with participants being able to arrive at 7:00 a.m. to pick up your registration packet or sign up if you haven't made it before then. If you register before December 2nd, the registration fee is only $25.00. If you're interested in doing the 1-Mile Walk the fee is $20.00

You can register the day of the event, but the fee will increase to $30.00.

Medals will be awarded in a variety of age groups and overall medals for male and female finishers. There will be three deep per age group provided.

This is a great fun event that will be sure to draw the crowds so go ahead and register now! This is a fantastic way to get the family active and moving while supporting the local community.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over now and sign up for this fantastic event and be sure to get your registration in early!!

Click here for registration or more info on this fantastic annual event!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Welcome Back to School! 5th grade Here We Come!

Wow!!! Did I really just say that? 5th grade? Can it be? Yep!! This kiddo is in 5th grade this year.

We started our new school year last week so this is kind of a late first week wrap-up. But hey, better late than not at all, right? So here's what our year looks like this year.

Apologia Physics and Chemistry - this one is really exciting for me. I've always loved Apologia but this new set is even more fun. It's two different topics that I've generally enjoyed in my past science experience. And who doesn't love lots of experiments? If you do then Apologia has them all for you too. This is a fun new book that we are super excited to dive in.

Singapore math -5A and 5B. This is kind of a change for us. We have been doing Math Mammoth for the past few years and enjoyed it. I was kind of looking for an actual textbook in our hand type of deal this year though. We are changing up some of the way we do things and so this just fits in with us better for now.

We are reading all sorts of things so this will be something new every time.

We are working on a couple of workbooks to get our spelling and grammar in this year.

Other classes:
We are of course keeping up with drama/theater this fall. We also have science classes going on starting back up next month at our local science center. These are two that Boo Bear looks forward to every semester.

We also have added in a co-op of sorts. My parents have since relocated nearer to us and so they have volunteered to do a science/math/reading co-op deal for us and a few of our homeschool friends. We had our first meeting this past week and the kiddos were well worn out and had a great time.

We've also already hit our first field trip this year to the local science museum. They always have a free day for homeschoolers and we love visiting. I also opted this year to get the yearly pass, not sure why I haven't before but this year is a totally new year. There will be lots of museums on our field trip list this year.

So we've had a successful, busy couple of weeks getting back into our school routine. Have you started yet or do you have a plan to start soon? What is your week looking like?

Happy New School Year!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Enlivenze LLC Tyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir Puzzle Review

FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
Recently we received the exciting and fun Enlivenze LLC Tyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir puzzle. This was so much fun and one of our favorite reviews this year. 
If you're a puzzle lover, like we are, then this is a new twist on the puzzle. You can choose from a variety of different topics such as the T-rex like we did or the solar system, Statue of Liberty and more. 
These puzzles are unique and fun to play with offering entertainment to all who play with them. 
What we received:
We received the Tyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir puzzle for our review. This is not your everyday puzzle. This product is a self contained puzzle adding a level of interesting fun to the whole experience. 
FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

This puzzle contains a wand inside the container to help you manipulate the pieces in the right order. We had a blast playing with this 3D puzzle that is unlike any other one we've tried. The pieces are all mixed up and it's your job to create the picture in the right order. 

How it works:
The FlipStir item is meant to be shaken up to mix the pieces all around. Then you use the wand to move pieces or "stir" them around to get them in the right order. There are ten pieces of the puzzle to put together in the right order. The bottom one is the label and then as you work your way up the T-rex himself shows up. 

My son had a blast trying to figure this 3D puzzle out. I have to be honest, Daddy got this one faster than me or the kiddo. He has a knack for puzzles and had it figured out in five minutes or less. For me and Boo Bear, it took a little longer. It is fun and unique and a great way to take puzzles or toys on the road. This can easily be tossed in a bag to go with you on a plane, car rides, or other adventures to make sure that you have something to keep everyone occupied with.

What we thought:
We gave this toy two thumbs up! This was a fun review to work our brains and concentration even if school isn't in session. We simply shake up the puzzle, stir it around and solve it! It's really a great addition to add to any puzzle lovers collection. These would make a great Christmas or birthday gift as well. These are great to get the brain thinking and working or for a fun downtime activity. There are many different scenes and puzzles to choose from so you can work on them throughout your week. They are also perfect to keep for busy day activities or just because you want to work a puzzle. There's no messy clean up and are great for traveling and field trip times in the car. 

Check out the social media links below and click the banner to see how other Crew members used their puzzle:


FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth?"

I've been studying in John recently and something struck me that has hung around for a bit. In John 1 you are learning about John's experience with Jesus. This chapter has some of my very favorite verses in it and I like to read it a lot. This time, something stuck out very plainly that has had me puzzling over the idea for a few weeks now. It comes in verse 46 where Jesus was wanting to go to Galilee and he went and found Phillip. He told Phillip to follow him and he did. Phillip then goes to Nathaniel and tells him about Jesus of Nazareth.

Here's where it sticks out... Nathaniel looks at Phillip and says, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

Umm.. wow. Think about that for a minute. I can imagine in my mind Phillip coming up to Nathaniel and Nathaniel making a face at him and asking, really? You think something good can come from that area? Maybe he was thinking to himself, are you talking about the same Nazareth I'm talking about?

You know that feeling. You've all been there or had it at one time or another. Maybe it's been something you've thought about someone or some place, or maybe you have had it thought about you. Perhaps you feel that nothing good can come from your past. Nothing in the present can be good or lovely from the life you've lived. The things that have happened to you could never amount to anything worth something.

That's where you're wrong. See, I did some research on Nazareth. Do you know what it means? I found a couple translations but they all lead to the same. The word Nazareth means, "to flower, shoot or sprout". Another meaning is to "keep guard or stand watch". Nazareth was not a well known location by any means. It had a very small population and when you went there it was full of gentiles, farmers, not the type of people you might associate with the King of Kings.

So when Nathaniel heard this, he honestly asked the question, what good can come from there? What good can come from a city that has people living there that do not hold the religious morals that his town did?

Perhaps you're thinking that yourself. What good can come from my past? What good can come from my hurt, pain, bitterness, life of feeling worthless? Let me tell you. Something amazing can come from all of that. Something wonderful and glorious.

If you read on some more you'll find that Jesus started talking to Nathaniel and Nathaniel believed  right there. Jesus said that before Phillip had told Nathaniel to come with him that Jesus saw him by the fig tree. That amazed Nathaniel and right then he believed. Jesus also went on to tell him he would see much greater things than these.

My pastor talked this past week about your divine purpose in Christ. He also talked about your past being stepping stones to your future. This just reiterated what I kept hearing in this scripture. As you look back on your past you may find you don't really come from what you'd consider a "good" city. You may not have a past of joy and happiness. You may find your past is dotted with trials, heartaches, tough times, and bad decisions.

The good news? That isn't your future. Jesus came from Nazareth where people were not religious and they didn't have a glamourous past. They didn't have money and power. They were simple people who were not well known. They weren't a big deal to write back home about, if you catch my drift.

BUT.. The Savior who was coming to save the world came from there. He came not in blazing fury but in love, peace, forgiveness. He came to save us from our past and give us an amazing future of blessings and life with Him.

So if you look back at your past and feel like you're not worth it, you're not someone that Jesus cares about or that you couldn't be saved... please think again. Jesus came just for you. Don't look back and be overwhelmed by the past that tries to weigh you down. Look forward to the future that God has prepared for you. Good can come from the things you've been through.

Sorry this is a little longwinded but it's one of those that's been on my heart and just gotta get it out there. Be blessed and remember, your past is not your future!!!

Cave Tools Multipurpose Grill Rack Review

So if you've hung around here for any length of time you know that we are a grilling family. I've done several reviews for Cave Tools amazing grilling utensils and here comes another one! Enter the new Multipurpose Stainless Steel Grill Rack for all your ribs, roasts, and whatever else you can think of that you might want to sit on the grill.

This great tool for grilling offers you two new ways to use the rack. You can use it for cooking a number of meats that you're ready to tackle such as turkeys, whole chickens, rack of ribs and so much more. The uniquely spaced bars allow you to get a true convection cooking style to ensure your meats are cooked to the right temperature.

Purchase Here!
This fantastic addition to your grilling arsenal allows you to cook a variety of delicious recipes on the grill, whether you want to slow cook them or speed up the cooking time. It fits great on any of the popular grills on the market from your regular charcoal grill to the new ceramic grills you can buy. You can put the meat you plan on smoking on the rack and then prepare for delicious food to come your way. With the purchase of the rack, you also gain access to a variety of different recipes to try out on your new stainless steel design.

One of the best things about the rack is that it is so easy to clean up. You can stick in the dishwasher and forget it! You also earn a lifetime guarantee on the rack so if for some reason you're not satisfied, you'll get your money back.

This rack is a great addition to any grillers kitchen and makes for an easy way to get all your favorite meats on the family table. The very strong and sturdy design makes it easy to handle any size ribs, turkeys, or whatever you might be putting on the grill.

Purchase your rack by clicking here and use the coupon code: LRJMNT3A for 15% off your purchase..
Be sure to let me know how you love your rib rack when you purchase one! Also special thanks to Cave Tools for this amazing opportunity.